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Description

Out-and-backs are for wimps.

Flyweight materials, compression capacity, and high-tech suspension make the Mountain Hardwear Thruway 50 Backpack ideal for the serious thru-hiker who demands both reliability and comfort.
  • Modified Alpine UL suspension system features removable hip belt and HardWave framesheet for customizable stability
  • Minimalist roll-top design for easy access and reduced weight
  • Super-stretchy mesh side panels provide convenient extra storage for water bottles, tent poles, or anything else remotely cylindrical
  • Padded, breathable shoulder straps won't cause irritation against bare skin
  • Carry loops easily hold ice axe and trekking poles
  • Huge front compression panel allows over-stuffing for those AT-esque endeavors

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Review Summary
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Mountain Hardwear Thruway 50 Backpack - 3050cu in

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Here's what others have to say...

4 5

Thruway 50

If you are in the market for a truly minimalist, lightweight backpack, look no further. Mt. Hardwear has taken some of the best features and innovations from recent cottage industry designs and applied them to this pack. Keeping in mind its intended use, for me, it fits the bill. I appreciate that it doesn’t have lots of pockets, straps, bells or whistles as I would not use them. I also like that it’s not attempting to reach the mass market of backpackers through a one size fits all encompassing design.

I loaded the pack with 27lbs, including food & water and found it to be quite comfortable to hike in for the weekend. One unique touch to this lidless design is the zippered pocket on the roll top.

Additionally, since I line my pack and place the bladder on top of the inside, I’m not concerned that it doesn’t have a designated hydration pocket, however, I do wish that it had a port for a bladder to come through. While I’ve modified mine to allow for this, I was really hesitant to start cutting. Hopefully, future versions account for this oversight.

4 5

Top Lightweight Pack!!!

Definitely hits the mark for quality, light weight 50 liter pack. I had to return because fit all wrong for me. I need women's specific and torso adjustable to dial in the fit. No matter how many unisex packs I try it just doesn't work. But how I wish it did. This would be a keeper. Only one negative for me was no hydration pocket inside pack which is pretty standard.

3 5

Great idea, but poor execution (at least for me)

I was in the market as they say for a light backpack (trying to keep my total load around 25lbs), and a bag that weighs less than 2 lbs sounded very promising to me. I wasn't too concerned about its virtually non-existent individual compartments/zippered pockets/lid/etc. In fact, I found its Spartan setup quite refreshing. The issue for me ended up being its suspension. Now the shoulder straps and the hip belt, despite their thin composition are very comfortable, but its frameless design made the load lifters ineffective in that the frame wasn't strong enough to properly lift the load off my shoulders. In fact, the top of the frame just curled towards my shoulders (and this was with about 20 lbs of load. I'm not sure whether it's technically correct to call it a frameless suspension, but it's essentially a combination of light plastic frame sheet and a foam pad - offers nowhere near the rigidity that other backpacks in its class offers (e.g. Granite Gear AC 60, Osprey Exos 58, Boreas Buttermilk 55). Additionally, the pack has absolutely no provision for a hydration system, and it's also more expensive (not by much but nonetheless) than its competing models. I do love the idea/intent of the bag, hopefully I'll have a better luck with it in their future models. I believe it may have still worked for me for loads under 15 lbs. And just because I had issues with it doesn't mean it won't work for you, everyone has a unique body and propensity. For reference, I'm 5'11", 170-175 lbs (depending on whether I'm lifting or not), 31" waist with 21.5" torso (I do have a long torso for my height).

Responded on

I agree with everything Mr. Lee has described. I'm returning the pack, unused, because of the same issues. I, on the other hand ordered the medium and it fit my torso well, Mr. Lee and I are the same height. Once packed, the pack didn't feel distributively comfortable. One specific reason I'm returning the pack is because the major compartment stuff sack has a smallish, few inches, of velcro closure. I really dislike it when I'm removing items from the pack and they inadvertently stick to the velcro, damaging the product. It's happened before, I won't let it happen again.